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December 2003 Issue
Gifts from the Kitchen
by Ronda L. Halpin
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In an age when everyone is running ragged and getting gifts becomes more of a chore than a treat, perhaps it's time to think about giving gifts that allow us to stop and smell the roses -- or cookies baking. In this spirit, I'm offering some of my favorite holiday gifts from the kitchen for you to make and enjoy giving to family, friends ... even the mailman!


Hot Chocolate in a Jar

What could be better than a piping hot mug of hot chocolate on a cold day? How about one that's made from a mix that you made yourself and gave as a holiday gift?
  • 1 (6 oz.) can dry chocolate milk mix
  • 1 (8 qt. size) box non-fat dry milk powder
  • 1 (10 oz.) jar dry coffee creamer
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Mix the above ingredients together and place in a resealable glass jar. Tie with ribbon and attach the following directions:

To make one mug of cocoa, place 4 rounded tablespoons of this mix into a large mug. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir well to dissolve. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired and enjoy!

  • Yields: 100 servings
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes


Cranberry-White Chocolate Cookies in a Jar

This mix is pretty in a jar and makes a great gift for those that love to bake. To make it a little more special, combine it with some wooden mixing spoons and some new oven mitts! Just remember to attach a label that gives directions on how to make the cookies!
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
  • 2/3 cup flaked coconut
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt together. And set aside.

Starting with the brown sugar, layer the ingredients in a 1 liter sized glass jar in the order given -- ending with the flour mixture that was premixed. Attach a card with the following directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Empty the contents of the jar into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon blend the mixture until well combined.
    3. Using you hands work in 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    4. Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup milk. Still using your hands or a wooden spoon blend the egg mixture into the dough until well combined.
    5. Drop teaspoon sized mounds 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 14 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Place cookies on a rack to finish cooling. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.
Give as housewarming or holiday gifts as needed and watch the smiles pour in.
  • Yields: 1 liter jar
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

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